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Athletics Earns High Marks
September 6, 1999
The NCAA Committee on Athletics Certification announced late last month that the University of Connecticut has been fully certified.
The purpose of the certification program - the athletics equivalent of reaccreditation of a university - is to ensure integrity in each institution's athletics operations and to assist athletics departments in improving their program. Legislation mandating athletics certification was adopted by a vote of all Division I member institutions at the 1993 NCAA Convention as a key part of the Association's reform agenda.
UConn's Division of Athletics was involved in the year-long NCAA certification self-study during academic year 1998-99. All 310 NCAA Division I member schools will undergo the certification process by the year 2000.
A designation of certified means that an institution operates its athletics program in substantial conformity with operating principles adopted by the NCAA Division I membership. UConn's Division of Athletics received the highest possible approval during the certification process, as Connecticut was found to be in substantial conformity with all 17 operating principles of the certification process.
"We are pleased to receive word that the University of Connecticut has been fully certified by the NCAA," said President Philip E. Austin, who supervised the school's certification process. "Our internal committee worked diligently as we addressed the total scope of the certification process. To have been found in substantial conformity with all 17 operating principles is an excellent statement about the day-to-day functioning of our Division of Athletics."
The certification process includes representation on each college campus by members of the university's faculty and staff, providing an opportunity for other members of the campus community to learn about and evaluate the athletics program. Athletics department personnel also serve on the committee and subcommittees responsible for the self-study.
Certification examines the athletics department's governance and commitment to rules compliance, academic and fiscal integrity, and commitment to equity. UConn's self-study committee analyzed these four areas and submitted a report. Then a peer group of administrators from other NCAA member institutions or conferences visited the campus and interviewed various institutional personnel. The NCAA Committee on Athletics Certification rendered the final decision, based on the peer review.
"Our certification process required hundreds of hours of detail-oriente d work on the part of a superb committee of professional colleagues here at the University of Connecticut," said Lew Perkins, director of athletics. "We are most appreciative of those invaluable efforts and we also want to say thank you to the peer review group that visited our campus and helped guide us through this demanding and complex process. The future is very bright at the University of Connecticut."